Exclusive: Migrant healthcare workers to be reunited with their families

Finally, some good news is afoot for migrant families broken apart by the COVID border closures.

Newshub understands the Government is planning to announce major changes on Monday to fix the anomaly which has split critical healthcare workers from their families overseas.

The conservative estimate is that hundreds of people offshore will be allowed into New Zealand to be with their loved ones starting at the end of this month.

The changes will predominantly reunite critical healthcare workers and their families like the nurses Newshub has spoken to who hadn't seen their babies in over a year

It's a fix for the anomaly which meant those who came in before the borders closed couldn't bring their families in the usual way but those who came in after the borders shut could because they were granted an exemption.

It was a stupid and heartless hiccup in the law and finally, a year after realising it was a problem, the Government is addressing it.

Those changes specifically address critical healthcare workers but other changes will mean some migrant workers can get their families here - but not all.

Newshub understands it will only help families who - as the borders closed - had all their paperwork sorted like approved visas. This means just those family members who were basically about to board the plane when the borders shut.

A temporary visa holder who is currently in New Zealand and applying for their family to join them will have to have at least 12 months on their visa. If they don't they can apply to have their visa extended.

Some families who weren't quite at that stage of the process will still be separated.

This is a start. It will mean the world to those families and it's good news for New Zealand as we risked losing those migrant nurses during a vaccine rollout and national nursing shortage.